Eli Manning congratulates Aaron Rodgers after the Packers won 38-35...

Eli Manning congratulates Aaron Rodgers after the Packers won 38-35 at MetLife Stadium. (Dec. 4, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

If the Giants get their revenge, it will be served cold. Frozen, even. Lambeau style.

It didn't take the Giants long after their Dec. 4 loss to the Packers to start pining for payback. In one of their best performances all season, they tied the Packers at 35 with a touchdown and two-point conversion with 58 seconds left. But that was enough time for Aaron Rodgers to drive 68 yards on five plays and set up a game-winning 31-yard field goal at MetLife Stadium.

Several Giants, most notably Antrel Rolle, said they wanted another opportunity to face that team. Now they'll have it. Sunday's win over the Falcons sets up a rematch -- in Green Bay this time -- at 4:30 p.m. Sunday between the No. 1-seeded Packers and the No. 4 Giants.

The last three Giants-Packers games have been dramatic. In 2008, on their way to the Super Bowl, the Giants won in overtime in Green Bay in the NFC title game, 23-20. Last year the Giants returned to Green Bay and lost, 45-17, in a game that virtually eliminated them from playoff contention in Week 16. That also was the first of the Packers' streak of 18 straight wins that included a Super Bowl title and ended last month with a loss to the Chiefs.

When the teams met in December, the Giants had lost three straight after a 6-2 start. Even defensive coordinator Perry Fewell publicly lambasted the team's effort, vowing to get after Rodgers. The Giants responded and, they felt, went toe-to-toe with the NFL's best. Many drew parallels to the 2007 loss to the Patriots at the end of the regular season, another tight game against an undefeated power.

Rodgers threw for 369 yards and four TDs. Eli Manning threw for 347 yards and three TDs, two to Hakeem Nicks.

The Giants also had a pass to Jake Ballard in the corner of the end zone in the first quarter that was reviewed and declared a non-touchdown even though the team later had what it considered photographic proof that the tight end's knee was down inbounds. Tom Coughlin said that picture made him "sick to my stomach." There also was the illegal-contact call against rookie Jacquian Williams that negated a sack, and what looked like an incompletion on Greg Jennings' TD early in the third quarter as he juggled the ball in the back of the end zone. That was ruled a TD and confirmed after review.

Still, many Giants felt good about the effort. "I learned a lot about this team," Rolle said afterward. "Everybody as a whole, the coaching staff, players, we have faith in each other. We went out there and we fought and we gave the Super Bowl champs a run for their money. And we will see them again. We will see them again."

It was the ultimate moral victory. But for the Giants to advance to the NFC Championship Game -- and a chance for revenge against the Saints or 49ers, two other teams they lost to in the regular season -- a moral victory will not be enough this time.

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